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Photography & Branding30:47 with Helena Price
Helena Price tells the story of how she quit her job in the tech industry to become a photographer. Helena also talks about the importance of having great branding for your tech product. Note: Audio improves noticeably at 4:25
[MUSIC] 0:00 Okay. 0:04 Hi. 0:04 I'm Helena and I am in 0:04 commercial photography based in San Francisco, California. 0:06 I think I might be one of the 0:12 only photographers here, but I figured since I'm in. 0:14 Mostly clear or something, but simple presentation 0:17 of bubblegum and kind of stuff like that. 0:21 So just look at my photo's because that's what we're doing [INAUDIBLE]. 0:23 So a little about me, a year ago, I quit my career in tech to 0:29 take pictures, and it was not a really logical or safe decision but here it is. 0:32 A series of fortunate circumstances and I found myself doing really awesome 0:39 branding [INAUDIBLE] and photos for a lot of companies that I really love. 0:42 And today I'm gonna show a bunch of things that I've learned over the last year. 0:46 This is actually the first time I've 0:51 sat down and articulated any thoughts that I've 0:53 had over the last year but I 0:55 hope that youfind it interesting, and potentially beautiful. 0:56 Can you guys hear me good? 1:00 >> We're good. 1:03 >> I cannot see you, but I see what you're yawning. 1:03 But first, most of you probably have no idea who I am, so I am 1:07 gonna share a little bit of my story and why I should be on this stage. 1:11 So, I grew up in Virginia, southern, New Bern Carolina. 1:15 So I'm also southern. 1:20 >> [NOISE]. 1:22 >> It was the original state capital and it was 1:23 the birthplace of Pepsi Cola for those who didn't know. 1:27 [LAUGH]. 1:32 >> This is, this was my first camera. 1:33 And my dad was the first person to get me into 1:35 photography by introducing me to this tiny little 35mm Wal-Mart disposable cameras. 1:37 And I'm guessing most of you used these. 1:42 You take 36 photos, take it to Wal-Mart, [INAUDIBLE] and take 1:46 the camera in, and you get your photos a day later. 1:50 So I probably took a few 1,000 photos just 1:55 in elementary school and middle school with these cameras. 1:59 I was just obsessed with documenting everything. 2:03 It wasn't really an art to me at all just a compulsion. 2:07 So, this is some of my early work. 2:12 [LAUGH] 2:18 >> This is an early still that I took of my stuffed animals. 2:18 [LAUGH] >> This is a portrait of my brother. 2:25 These are my friends. 2:29 This continued into high school, I took my mom's 2:31 ancient 35mm film camera and took it all over. 2:34 All through high school continued into college and just 2:37 documented everything, I was always the girl with the camera. 2:41 When I was a teen, I became a 2:46 tour photographer with bands and the bands knew mostly 2:48 just because I was really well connected with 2:51 the music scene in Raleigh and the fans knew. 2:54 That I documented everything so they asked me to join them 2:56 on the road, so I would drive in circles around the country 3:00 on my summer breaks and winter breaks and write a bunch of 3:03 tour stories on my blog, which is still somewhere on the internet. 3:07 And this is one of the maps from the 2009 3:11 tour, and this is when my photos [INAUDIBLE] 3:17 this is the town, this is Indiana, Idaho. 3:23 [INAUDIBLE]. 3:29 This is [INAUDIBLE], this is some random karaoke bar. 3:31 Despite that, I never thought that I could be a photographer for 3:38 a living, because I just didn't know anyone who actually did that. 3:42 And I got a [INAUDIBLE] from state, so I figured that's what I should do. 3:47 And this is 3:52 kind of where my brain was at in 2009. 3:56 So I graduated and, pretty much immediately moved to San Francisco. 3:57 Just with a few suitcases, because I thought California was magical 4:01 and I tend to make major life decisions on a whim. 4:06 [LAUGH] >> So, and I got a PR job working for. 4:09 And I thought working in tech was pretty cool, and the salary was cool. 4:12 And, I did a lot of work. 4:19 >> [COUGH]. 4:21 >> I got really into work. 4:22 So, over the next few years, I got into 4:23 building brands for start-ups, and as many of you know, 4:26 when you wear a bunch of hats, or when you're 4:30 at a tiny start-up, you wear a lot of hats. 4:32 So I did everything from UX 4:33 to content strategy, brand partnerships, creative campaigns. 4:36 You just kinda do stuff. 4:39 Cuz no one else was there to do it. 4:41 So for the majority of my time in tech, I got super engrossed in my work. 4:43 And I lived tech and I breathed tech. 4:48 And I wanted to be a thought leader and Forbes 30, under 30. 4:49 >> [COUGH]. 4:53 >> And I kind of totally lost a sense of who I was, outside of that. 4:54 So I pretty much like was my company and my brands for a while. 4:59 And I stopped taking photos completely. 5:03 And I wasn't very happy. 5:07 So, fast forward to last year, and it was. 5:10 The New Year's of 2013, and I was sitting on this couch. 5:16 And two months prior, I had just given away or sold the 5:21 majority of my stuff, and I moved to New York for a 5:25 new job in tech that I was really excited about, and it 5:28 wasn't too long before yet again, I was kind of miserable, and. 5:31 And so on that couch, right around New Year's. 5:36 I made a resolution to brainstorm the things that made me 5:38 really happy and to do those things every day, in 2013. 5:42 So, I at least wouldn't be depressed at work. 5:47 So I chose taking photos. 5:49 Because without question, that was the thing that made me the happiest. 5:52 So I started taking pictures again, and I set 5:56 a goal to take my camera everywhere with me 5:59 and take so many photos during the day that 6:01 I would always have photos to edit during the night. 6:04 So If I was working and my day at work sucked, I could 6:06 go home and edit photos and my day would end on a good note. 6:09 I quickly learned that I liked taking portraits. 6:14 I'd never really taken a portrait until January of last year, and it was awesome, 6:16 so, I subsequently barfed out hundreds of portraits, and could not stop. 6:22 My work was better than I remembered, which was weird and awesome. 6:30 And I started sharing my photos on 6:34 the internet, and they started getting some attention. 6:36 And I'll just condense several months into one slide, 6:38 but I started thinking about seriously quitting my job. 6:43 Thought that freelancing could potentially be an option. 6:47 The more I talked to other photographers in New 6:50 York, the more I talked to a lot of my 6:52 mentors in tech and otherwise more and more people 6:54 were making it sound like I could maybe do it. 6:58 And so, I ended up taking a trip to California 7:02 just to get away from work and think about it. 7:06 And a week later, I returned from California. 7:09 And I quit my job the next day. 7:11 So, and at the, on that same day I decided that 7:14 I would move back to San Francisco and pursue photography full time. 7:17 With no idea of exactly how to do that. 7:21 again, cuz I attempt to make major life decisions on a whim. 7:24 So over the next few months, I somehow managed to figure this out, and over 7:29 the last year I've done work with Google, 7:34 Nike, Samsung, Uber, Dropbox, RDO Path, Microsoft Square. 7:37 All these companies that I've loved forever and it's crazy. 7:43 So, I didn't really expect this to happen to me but 7:48 I can share some insights on how I think things worked out. 7:51 The biggest thing is there was an opportunity that 7:57 was not there a few years ago, and it 8:01 was good timing that I happen to quit my 8:03 job, and find this little niche that exists now. 8:05 There's a really interesting thing brewing at the intersection of 8:10 tech and branding, and it's just now starting to get tapped. 8:13 In some ways I feel like there should be more people 8:17 tapping it, but no one really has yet except for me. 8:21 So, and I'm gonna get a little bit academic and I hope that's okay. 8:25 Tech historically hasn't cared much about branding at all. 8:30 It wasn't just a year ago when Tech felt like 8:34 it was a mad rush to launch your new novel product. 8:37 And it was about being first to market, whether or not your idea was 8:40 good, or your product actually worked, or your story was compelling, or it was just. 8:45 We launched Foursquare for theaters, and it was exciting. 8:49 So now that the market's pretty saturated with every kind of 8:53 web based product and idea, there's less value in being novel. 8:57 And you're not gonna turn heads for coming up with a new idea now. 9:00 And you'll soon have several competitors who have a better execution than you. 9:04 So just building a functional product is not enough anymore. 9:09 And branding is becoming a differentiator. 9:14 So again, I don't care about your product because of its function, 9:18 because there probably more ten products out there that do what you do. 9:22 So, why would I choose your product? 9:26 It's probably because I liked your aesthetic sensibility, 9:29 I liked what you stand for, what you've 9:32 built, and your story, and I can relate to you or I aspire to relate to you. 9:34 I wanna do a quick comparison of Uber, one of 9:41 my clients, and Lyft, who's one of their primary competitors. 9:43 And these are two companies that are almost identical 9:47 in function, and I think both companies are really awesome. 9:50 So, but when you ask people which one they ride with, they're pretty devoted to one 9:53 or the other, depending almost entirely on what brand that they most relate to. 9:59 So, you have Uber, which is 10:04 this professional and powerful high end service. 10:07 You sit in the back seat. 10:10 You don't really talk to the driver. 10:11 There are mints and water, and they ask if the temperature's okay. 10:13 And it's this very, kind of customized, dependable experience 10:16 for you, and it's focused on the utility of it. 10:19 >> [COUGH]. 10:22 >> So you know what you're gonna get and you like it. 10:22 And then you have Lyft, which is this 10:25 relatable and casual and fun version of the service. 10:28 And you sit in the front seat and you make besties with your driver 10:31 and you fist pump and it's fun, and there's a focus on the experience. 10:34 And so, in this case, you really never know what 10:38 you're gonna get, but you know you're gonna like it. 10:40 So, it's two very different versions of pretty much exactly the same product. 10:43 In general, you can tell people a lot 10:49 about yourself by which brands you're loyal to. 10:51 And I feel like it happens pretty frequently in 10:53 San Francisco, where it's an opportunity to share something 10:55 about yourself, when someone says, no, I like Lyft, 10:58 because it's more fun and casual and care free and. 11:01 Or if someone who prefers a black car Sedan, Uber all the time. 11:05 Like, they're two very different people. 11:09 So depending on whether, you know, you're a Mac dude or a PC dude or if you like 11:11 United or you like Virgin America, it says things 11:16 about you, just based on who you associate yourself with. 11:19 And, so the choice between Uber and Lyft beyond what 11:22 is surging, is what brand personality you most wanna represent you. 11:25 So, basically what I am saying, is that branding is important now. 11:30 Here are three questions that I think people 11:35 should have answered before they hire someone like me. 11:39 Or they create content, or they do campaigns or make photos or anything. 11:42 And once you can articulate these three questions, you have 11:47 a foundation on which you can build all kinds of content. 11:50 So a lot of times, when I come in for a job and a company wants photos for 11:53 something, whether it's a new site launch or an 11:57 ad campaign or even a jobs page or whatever,. 12:00 These projects end up evolving into me helping 12:04 them figure out all of this other stuff. 12:08 Because a lot of companies haven't actually thought about this yet. 12:09 Because no one cared about branding, until recently. 12:12 And then I make photos. 12:16 So basically, being a photographer in San Francisco, that 12:18 has a branding background, is not common, at all. 12:22 So it's a thing that companies need and so there's a lot of work for me to do. 12:27 So now, I will go into some of 12:33 the approaches that I've taken in my recent work. 12:35 And I can kinda lump my work into a few main buckets that I've been excited about. 12:39 And I'll go through a couple of them now. 12:46 So the first is internal brand stories, which 12:49 traditionally has been really boring candid office photos. 12:53 And every company has you know, their basic why they're 12:58 awesome story, and it usually sounds exactly the same, so. 13:02 Our office is beautiful. 13:05 We have a successful product. 13:07 We have really awesome lunch. 13:09 We have ping pong tables, and it's like exactly the 13:10 same thing with every company, even though it's all awesome. 13:13 So in any photo work that I do, the focus is on culture and hiring. 13:18 I ask as many questions as I can, with the intention of what 13:22 I've just called the top 5%, cuz I can't think of something better. 13:26 Any idea's I wanna find those very few things 13:29 that rise to the very top, that are exceptional about 13:32 the company and actually differentiate it and I'm able to 13:35 create a story around it that's different from other companies. 13:39 And ideally, I would like to be able to glean this stuff and make a 13:43 story that's so awesome that the Tech 13:46 press would feel compelled to write about it. 13:48 So, when you're making photos for, you know, a culture 13:50 shoot or anything like that, you should be super, super selective. 13:55 Like, almost painfully so, and just capture the 13:59 top 5% of your office and culture and 14:03 totally ditch the other 95% because it is 14:05 totally redundant and it wastes the viewer's time. 14:09 So, an example of this that I'll go through is 14:13 A Day In The Life project that I did for RDIO. 14:17 This was one of my first projects that I did. 14:19 I did this for RDIO and Dropbox and Path with Designer Fund. 14:23 And the idea was, well, I'll go through it. 14:28 So, basically, I told the story of what it was like to work at 14:32 RDIO and Dropbox and Path through the eyes of a designer at the company 14:38 and I followed these designers. 14:43 For a day each, I hung out with them in the morning, 14:46 watched their morning routine, I went with them to work, I hung 14:49 out with them in the office all day, and then I followed 14:52 them home after work, and hung out with them in the evening. 14:54 So this is RDIO, that was Ryan Simms, he's head of 14:59 design, awesome human being and so this is their RDIO office. 15:01 The idea's you know, showing these little nuggets from 15:07 each office that show it's a cool place to work. 15:10 Like there's an Elliot Smith book on the table, and I 15:13 think that's awesome and every one there is super into music. 15:15 And it's about being able to pair those kind of little stories with 15:18 photographs that make it into something 15:22 more interesting than just a beautiful product. 15:25 Here's more office, 15:29 every single story despite the fact that it you know, is this kind of 15:32 candid, natural photo shoot, ever single thing was planned before the shoot. 15:37 So, we did tons of pre-interviews, to just learn every single thing about. 15:43 What it was like to work there, what 15:49 the routines were like, what's special about it? 15:50 And after lots of digging and lots of question asking we were able to pull 15:53 out these little nuggets that were special 15:58 and then we re-created photos from those nuggets. 16:00 So this is culture, this is, you know, evening at Pacific Brewing Company. 16:07 So, once we have those story lines put together, then we plan the shot list. 16:13 I went in, and just recreated all of 16:17 those scenarios that Ryan described in his interviews. 16:19 The next thing I'm just gonna call it Marketing as 16:25 Storytelling, because I can't think of something better right now. 16:28 This is becoming a big thing, especially through video and Instagram. 16:31 To create marketing content that tells these 16:35 real stories while still favoring the product. 16:38 And usually the best way to do this, is 16:41 empowering other people to tell those stories for you. 16:42 So, I have a couple of different examples of this that I have done. 16:46 One is told through me, and then one 16:49 is told through other people, and I documented it. 16:52 So I did a job for Nike for their 6KCounts Campaign with Fuel Band. 16:56 And the idea was, they asked me to document 17:03 getting to 6,000 points with my Nike Fuel Band. 17:08 And to tell the story of how I got there. 17:11 I don't normally get to 6,000 points, and it would, 17:14 I knew it'd have to be a pretty extreme aim, but 17:18 I didn't wanna do like the typical Nike like, I 17:20 don't wanna say that I'm doing stuff that I never do. 17:24 So I wanted to create a day that felt really natural to my lifestyle and 17:27 so when I shared it with the world, it wouldn't look contrived in any way. 17:32 so, these were my supplies for the day. 17:36 This is me running to the farmer's market, instead of taking the bus, 17:40 this is me taking a hike to Grand View Park with some friends. 17:45 This is working on our fitness, this is heading 17:49 up to Miran to shoot the sunset with some photographers. 17:53 And then this is me getting home and praying that I 17:58 could get the shot exactly at sunset, and thank God, it worked. 18:00 So in any work opportunities like this, if brands come to me and 18:05 want me to do some sort of storytelling campaign like this, if I can't 18:09 make it feel genuine, I have to say no, only because, you want 18:13 people to trust you, and you want people to trust you as a storyteller. 18:18 And they dont want you, you don't want people to feel like you've sold out. 18:21 So for me, it's super important to only work on stories 18:25 that feel like they match with my life and my choices. 18:29 The next project I'll talk about is one I did with Uber. 18:34 For a Miami Needs Uber Campaign. 18:39 I was doing some brand work with Uber at the time, and Travis the CEO, approached 18:42 me in the office one day, and was 18:48 basically like you're going to Miami next week. 18:49 And he asked if I would create a campaign 18:52 because Miami is not legal, or Miami is not legal. 18:56 Uber is not legal in Miami yet, because 19:00 the local government, there's one guy who's kind of 19:04 preventing this vote, from going through and for Miami 19:06 to become legal, but everyone in Miami wants Uber. 19:09 Like, people in Miami are obsessed with Uber, so this sucks. 19:12 And it was leading up to a time when a vote would happen. 19:16 And he wanted to put, you know, pressure on the government and 19:21 get the whole city of Miami to rally so that Uber can exist. 19:25 So, he wanted me to come up with a 19:30 campaign that was big and would catch the attention of 19:31 the whole city, it would catch the attention of the 19:34 government, it would be like blowing up on the internet. 19:37 And I had a week, to figure out how to do that. 19:40 So, I hired a couple of other photographers to work with me. 19:43 I hired a creative director in Miami. 19:47 We put together street teams. 19:48 We like got a design to create a bunch of collateral. 19:51 We put murals up in the city. 19:54 We had planes flying in the sky. 19:56 There was all kinds of stuff happening. 19:57 But from a photo stand point. 19:58 I set up about 60 portrait shoots in three days. 20:01 And, we tapped into this community of people in Miami who had 20:06 signed a petition or pressed a button to request Uber in Miami. 20:10 So, we had this database of people, that we knew wanted it. 20:15 And so we reached out to a bunch of them 20:18 and asked if they were willing to talk about why. 20:20 And so we set up all these portrait interviews. 20:22 We flew to Miami, and we worked like 20:24 maniacs, for a week to get this project up, 20:27 and get it on the internet in real time, and get this hash tag all over the place. 20:30 So we interviewed everyone from cab drivers. 20:36 And, you know, they feel imprisoned by the current taxi system, so a lot of 20:41 them were scared to talk, but the couple 20:47 of people that did talk were really compelling. 20:49 There were chefs and restaurant owners and people in night 20:52 life that really wanted to see people get home safely. 20:56 There were people who just wanted to see less drunk driving in their neighborhood. 20:59 There were women who were worried about 21:04 their safety because they've been mugged waiting 21:05 for taxi's or public transportation and they 21:07 just wanted something that was more reliable. 21:10 So we've got all these stories from 21:13 all these different people, and it was awesome. 21:15 And the campaign totally worked. 21:18 It caught the attention of a ton of people. 21:20 The hashtag went viral. 21:23 I think, I mean the last time I checked which was several 21:24 months ago, the photos we posted on Instagram got over 120,000 links. 21:27 So it was, it was big. 21:32 And it really wouldn't have worked at all, if we had told the story ourselves. 21:34 We had to have it told, through other people for it to seem genuine at 21:39 all. 21:47 So, here's what I think makes a good campaign. 21:48 At least to me. 21:51 It should definitely be genuine and honest. 21:53 This doesn't necessarily mean it should be fully real 21:55 or candid, it can be 100% planned and produced but, 21:59 it needs to have genuine intentions and it needs 22:03 to have a realistic story that people can relate to. 22:06 So, and in the case of Uber for instance, 22:08 you can't tell that story yourself without sounding biased, you 22:11 just need to find people in your community that can 22:15 tell that story and have them tell it for you. 22:17 And build projects around that. 22:21 It should feel aspirational. 22:23 It should help the viewer envision themselves in 22:25 a situation that they'd wanna be a part of. 22:28 A great example of an ad campaign that I've seen, and always 22:31 reference, which I don't have in 22:36 this presentation, is early campaign from Zipcar. 22:37 Where people still didn't really know what it was, but they 22:40 had these great photographs of you know, people who were grocery shopping 22:44 and putting groceries in their car or people who like, took a 22:48 bike trip in Marin or people who were camping on the beach. 22:50 And it was just, really well executed and put together, where you 22:53 could look at the photo and be like, I wanna do that. 22:57 And you wanna go get a zip car. 22:59 It should be subtle. 23:02 The photos and videos that you 23:05 produce shouldn't have to explain everything itself. 23:07 And there's a relationship between 23:10 photography and copyrighting in the products, 23:12 and it should all complement each other when it's being developed. 23:14 And it should be on brand. 23:17 And this seems like a no-brainer. 23:19 But going in totally different directions with 23:21 different campaigns makes people confused about your identity. 23:23 And I see this in Facebook ads. 23:26 I see growth teams that are just like throwing crazy 23:29 things on the internet to see what'll get the most engagement. 23:32 But, it may work out in the short term 23:35 where you find something crazy that spreads a lot. 23:38 But it may just confuse people about your brand, and 23:40 it may make people angry if it's something too crazy. 23:43 So, I would say if you haven't figured out your brand and your style and your tone, I 23:46 would take a step back and figure all of 23:53 that stuff out first before you make any sort of 23:55 contact. 24:00 And, this is how you can help make people 24:00 like me make really good campaigns as a client. 24:04 So, first things first, you should figure out what you want. 24:08 It may seem like a given, but a lot of people don't 24:12 know what they want and really hope that other people figure it out. 24:14 And other people can do a lot to help you figure it 24:19 out, but we don't know exactly what you want, because we're not you. 24:23 So for photography, putting together a brief, even 24:27 if it just helps you articulate your goals. 24:31 Having a shot list in mind, having visual references you'd like to emulate. 24:35 Just those kinda things help paint a picture 24:40 for us that we can create something around. 24:43 Having some imagination is awesome, and in that sense, you know, we're here to help 24:46 give lots of opinions on what could be 24:54 really amazing, and brain storm all these ideas. 24:55 And we're also here to manage expectations about what 24:58 is even possible depending on budgets and logistics and time. 25:01 So the idea's to kinda work together, put all these ideas on 25:04 a wall and then kinda whittle it down to what is possible. 25:08 Know how it fits into the product. 25:13 Everything really should be developed together, if you're making a big campaign. 25:15 So, the creative, and the copy, and the product. 25:20 It all informs each other, so keeping the photographer or the agency looped in 25:23 on that as much as possible, will be really helpful in making the photos. 25:27 And then, just staying involved, so. 25:33 You can let the photographer agency handle everything, but I wouldn't. 25:36 We can totally help you figure out what you want and 25:40 make it look awesome, but the more that you're around, and 25:43 even if you're on the shoot and approving photos on site, 25:47 you may feel like you're intruding, but we actually love it. 25:49 So, come hang. 25:52 And then lastly, I wanted to share just a few other rules that I've been 25:55 living by that are very important to me, and could also be helpful for you. 26:00 I actually think that these little mantras have helped me to 26:05 get to where I am more than the branding, and that stuff. 26:10 So, for me, always be making, is a very important 26:14 rule that I have not been good at over the years. 26:19 So, when I wasn't taking photos, and when I 26:22 was in Tech, a major obstacle was I couldn't 26:24 even take photos as a hobby because I was 26:26 so worried about what kind of photographer I should be. 26:29 Or whether I should shoot film or digital, or what my style should be. 26:33 And so, I just didn't make anything, which was done. 26:38 So, I knew that when I resolved to take photos 26:41 again last year, I just needed to stop worrying about it. 26:44 And I set a few rules for myself 26:48 to keep myself producing, which I totally recommend. 26:50 In this case, I set a rule for my blog, which is powered on Tumbler, and 26:53 I, my queue was never allowed to run out, and sometimes I would adjust the queue 26:57 from like one post a day to two posts a day, back to one, depending on 27:01 how much work I had, but I had to post at least one photo a day. 27:05 And that way, I would just dedicate my weekends to making as much work as 27:09 possible, and hopefully I had six or seven photos that I felt okay enough to share. 27:12 And these days, I have totally broken that rule 27:19 and don't post on my blog that much anymore. 27:23 But I'm forgiving myself, and I am now at 27:25 this point just forcing myself to make personal work. 27:28 Because I'll have a month that goes by where I've worked every day on 27:30 client work, and then I have nothing personal to show and that feels bad. 27:33 So, if I have a crazy month like that, I will 27:38 just set aside a weekend or I'll buy a plane ticket. 27:42 And I will force myself to stop working so that I work 27:45 on stuff for me, because even if it's a commission shoot and you 27:48 have total creative freedom and you can do whatever you want, because 27:53 the client asked you to do it, it still doesn't totally feel yours. 27:57 So, it's all about taking that time and shooting 28:00 stuff that feels completely voluntary and completely, completely from you. 28:03 Make friends everywhere. 28:08 This has been my mantra forever. 28:10 Not really as a rule just because I have compulsion to make friends everywhere. 28:13 And so being in charge of calms and [INAUDIBLE] in my past life I 28:19 had to meet a ton of people just to be succesful at my job. 28:23 And that worked out, because I really like people 28:27 and I have this impossible desire to meet every 28:30 single person in a city that i'm in, and 28:34 I like hearing people's stories and I like making friends. 28:36 So, I met all of these people over the last few years. 28:39 All over the place and I never thought of it as networking. 28:44 I just thought of it as like these people are awesome. 28:48 And I have things in common with them and I want to make friends. 28:50 And I never had an agenda up front, but 28:53 there's always the idea that if you guys like 28:56 each other and you're in the same world, maybe 28:58 you'll be able to help each other out one day. 28:59 But I never expected that, that amount of people time, that I 29:01 had over the last few years would actually make my photography career. 29:07 So, I continue to do it, and if you guys 29:10 aren't networkers, or you feel like you're getting older, or 29:15 you're too tired to network I think you're just gonna 29:19 get more old and more tired, so you should start now. 29:22 >> [LAUGH]. 29:25 >> And then my last is, kind of like a recent thing over the last year. 29:27 Is just don't focus too much on the internet of things. 29:34 And I'm sure for most people in this room it 29:37 can be easy to get distracted by vanity metrics and 29:41 what's going on Dribble or what's going on, on Instagram, 29:46 and seeing like, what stuff get's tons of attention and feeling. 29:48 Possibly inadequate or that you need to model yourself to 29:54 create work that is more that will get a better 29:57 reception but if you can worry about that as little 29:59 as possible, I think that would be good for you. 30:03 It's really good for me, where I think that for myself. 30:05 I need to stay very heads down because I'm 30:11 still developing my style, and I'm still developing my taste. 30:13 And I still don't totally know what kind of photographer I feel like I am. 30:16 And so, I have to really not let any of that stuff influence me. 30:20 And I think that overall having a point of view is better in the long run. 30:25 That's very distinct. 30:30 And that people remember you by. 30:31 Because otherwise, why would people email you, for a job, over anyone else. 30:33 So, I would say, just keep making what feels right 30:37 to you. 30:42 That's all. 30:44 Thank you. 30:44 [NOISE] 30:46
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